In the present study, three species of Lutjaninae, Lutjanus analis, L. griseus and L. synagris, were analyzed by conventional Giemsa staining, C-banding and silver staining, to reveal active Nucleolus Organizer Regions (NORs). Fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) was also applied to establish the number and location of the ribosomal gene clusters (18S and 5S rRNA genes). Counts of diploid metaphasic cells revealed a diploid modal chromosome complement composed of 48 acrocentric chromosomes in both L. analis and L. griseus. Two cytotypes were observed in L. synagris: cytotype I, with 2n=48 acrocentric chromosomes, found in 19 specimens, and cytotype II, with 46 acrocentric chromosomes and one large metacentric, found in two specimens. The large metacentric, which possibly originated from a Robertsonian rearrangement, was not found to be sex-related. In the three species, constitutive heterochromatin is located in the centromeres of all chromosomes. NORs were detected on the short arms of a single chromosome pair, number 24 in L. analis and number 6 in both cytotypes of L. synagris. In L. griseus, a polymorphism of the NORs number was detected, by both Ag-staining and FISH, as females show a maximum of three NORs, and males a maximum of six NORs. In all species, minor ribosomal genes were found located on a single chromosome pair. The obtained data, along with those previously reported for other five Lutjanidae species, show that a general chromosome homogeneity occurs within the family, but that derived karyotypes based on Robertsonian rearrangements as well as multiple and variable NORs sites can also be found.
Karyotype; Ribosomal genes; NOR polymorphism; C-banding; Robertsonian rearrangement